Best Online Masters In Clinical Mental Health Counseling – An online master’s in mental health counseling is a flexible and rewarding path to becoming a licensed professional mental health counselor.
According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), approximately 47 million American adults (one in five) struggle with mental illness each year. The number is increasing, especially this year in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, so there is an urgent need for effective mental health counselors in a variety of professional settings.
Best Online Masters In Clinical Mental Health Counseling
Check out our online master’s mental health counseling program and start your journey toward your dream job as a mental health counselor.
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In a master’s program in mental health counseling, you will learn first-hand about people. Your class will focus on:
The online format will vary by school. Some schools require concurrent courses, which means you must log in at a specific time for the class. Others allow asynchronous courses, meaning you can complete your work on your own time.
A master’s in mental health counseling typically requires 60 credit hours, including practicum and internship. Graduates are then eligible to apply for the Nationally Certified Mental Health Counselor Examination (NCMHCE) for licensure.
Application requirements for mental health counseling programs also vary by school. At a minimum you need a bachelor’s degree, and most schools require at least a minimum GPA of 3.0. About half require a GRE score, and the other half do not.
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The job outlook for clinical mental health counselors is positive. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the need for mental health counselors is growing 23 percent, faster than average. By 2030, you can expect at least 75, 100 more positions.
With a master’s in mental health counseling, you have many career options. Of course, you can become a clinical mental health counselor and work with individuals, families and children dealing with mental and emotional issues.
As you can see, not only are clinical mental health counselors needed, but you can potentially work anywhere!
A career in mental health counseling pays more than just money, but here’s what we found for salary potential:
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U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the median annual income for mental health counselors was $48,520, with top earners earning over $77,980. Mental health counselors working for government agencies earn an average of $60,450. While those who work for residential mental health facilities earn about $43,000.
Professional counselors working in hospitals and outpatient mental health and substance abuse centers earn between $47,000 and $50,000, respectively.
You can increase your salary potential by earning an additional graduate certificate, as some schools in this position offer. Your salary also depends on:
You can also potentially increase your salary by doing a PhD. In mental health counseling or starting your own private practice.
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The University of the Cumberlands is a private university with a large footprint in Kentucky. UC offers an advanced degree in mental health counseling. UC’s master’s in mental health counseling program is excellent because:
UC’s mission is to produce graduate professionals “committed to individual integrity, client-centered counseling, diversity, social change and academic excellence.” The goal is to provide students with the knowledge and skills to make a positive difference as a mental health counselor.
Along with 60 credit hours of basic and clinical mental health courses, you will complete 100 hours of counseling practicum and 600 hours of counseling training divided into two parts.
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The #1 public university in New England is the University of Massachusetts, better known as UMass. UMass includes six campuses across the state as well as one online “campus,” UMass Online. The Master of Science in Mental Health Counseling from UMass Online will prepare you for an exciting career as a professional counselor in settings such as:
UMass uses a concurrent model, and during the online mental health counseling program, you are required to attend two clinical courses during your first summer term. Although this mental health counseling program leads to licensure in the state of Massachusetts, there is an additional clinical experience requirement after graduation. Another benefit is that with just three additional credits, you can obtain a second license as a school adjustment counselor.
Founded in 1948, Grace College and Theological Seminary is a Christian educational institution located in beautiful Winona Lake, Indiana. Grace includes an online master’s in clinical mental health counseling that emphasizes psychology and social science from a Christian worldview.
You can complete the program in six, seven or eight semesters depending on your schedule. Courses include:
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Although this mental health counseling program is online, you will complete a seven-day residency on the Grace College campus once a year.
To apply, you need a bachelor’s degree with a minimum GPA of 3.0, professional references and a background check. The good news is that you can apply for admission at least a month before the start of the next term. Grace’s master’s program is accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Education Programs (CACREP).
The University of Tennessee consists of four campuses, one of which is UT Martin. At UT Martin, you’ll find the best value counseling programs in the country:
The program’s mission is to foster a sense of community by developing “socially ethical and competent professionals in clinical mental health settings.”
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This mental health counseling program may be online, but you’ll feel connected to your professors and classmates through the twice-a-year, three-day group social media pages and groups where you can find current classmates. And can keep in touch with alumni. From the first day you graduate, you will be in close contact with your advisor who will guide you through the program.
You can complete this 60 credit hour program in just two years. You will take courses such as Principles of Crisis Intervention and Alcohol and Substance Abuse Counseling before completing your practicum and internship.
Founded in 1909, Messiah University is now a nationally ranked college in beautiful central Pennsylvania. Messiah combines the Christian faith with a standard educational program. Accredited by CACREP, Messiah University’s Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling offers a flexible online program to prepare you to become a mental health counselor.
Not only can you choose from flexible start dates, but you can decide whether you want to complete the mentoring program in two, three or four years. Each course is eight weeks, and a one-week intensive course is offered in person in January and July. You will take concurrent online courses such as:
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Interested in Messiah College? To apply for the clinical mental health counseling program, with a bachelor’s degree (3.0 cumulative GPA), you must submit:
Located in Colorado’s beautiful San Luis Valley, you’ll find Adams State University. Adams State University just celebrated its 100th anniversary and remains committed to its mission:
For social mobility, Adams State University offers an online Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health that is worth a try.
To achieve this, you will take a combination of core courses and clinical mental health counseling courses before completing a full practicum course and training hours.
Clinical Mental Health Counseling
Adams State enrolls students each fall, spring and summer semester, and while there is no specific deadline, you should submit your application as soon as possible. To apply, you need a bachelor’s degree with at least a 2.75 GPA, but if you are below that, you can include an explanation of why you are a successful candidate for the program.
Founded in 1897 as a watchmaking school, Bradley University is a private institution in Peoria, Illinois. Bradley offers more than 185 academic programs to nearly 6,000 students. With Bradley University’s online Master of Arts in Counseling – Clinical Mental Health, Counseling, you can prepare for the National Counselor Exam and pursue a fulfilling counseling career.
In addition, you will attend two week-long on-campus residencies, one during your first term and one during your last term.
Since 2014, the NCE passing rate among Bradley graduates has been 100%. Graduates work in a variety of clinical psychiatric settings, including:
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This online mental health counseling degree also serves as a gateway to doctoral work, as many graduates have gone on to successfully complete a PhD in counseling or a related field.
More than 15,000 students call Lamar University home. Nationally recognized for academic quality, LU offers more than 100 undergraduate and graduate programs. Lamar University’s Master of Education in Clinical Mental Health Counseling provides a competitive, high-quality, and affordable program for those who wish to pursue clinical mental health counseling.
Although LU’s program is online, two on-campus residency courses are required. Each is five weeks and includes face-to-face instruction and personal support and feedback. In addition to preparing graduate students to become professional counselors, dedicated faculty are doctors
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